SYDNEY: Australia on Thursday joined a rising variety of nations halting the usage of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for youthful individuals over fears it will possibly trigger severe blood clots.
In an additional setback for Australia’s already halting coronavirus vaccine rollout, officers mentioned the AstraZeneca shot ought to now not be given to individuals under the age of fifty, except that they had already acquired a primary dose with none ailing results.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a night press convention to announce the choice shortly after the federal government’s medical advisory board determined to observe European and different nations in limiting the usage of AstraZeneca.
“It has not been our observe to leap at shadows, it has not been our observe to take pointless precautions,” he mentioned in explaining the step.
“We’ve been taking the mandatory precautions primarily based on the very best medical recommendation.”
Australia has been one of many world’s most profitable nations in containing the unfold of Covid-19, with fewer than 30,000 circumstances and 1,000 deaths for a inhabitants of 25 million and just about no ongoing neighborhood transmission.
But it has fallen far behind the federal government’s personal schedule for vaccinating individuals towards the illness, with simply one million doses administered by Thursday when it had pledged to provide 4 million doses by final week.
Australia had counted on utilizing AstraZeneca to inoculate most of its inhabitants, first utilizing doses imported from Europe after which regionally manufactured vaccines.
But vaccine shortages in Europe led to delays in AstraZeneca shipments, whereas deliberate deliveries of other vaccines like Pfizer/BioNTech and Novavax haven’t but ramped up.
Several European nations have already suspended the usage of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for youthful populations after it was earlier banned outright in a number of locations over blood clot scares.
The EU’s medicines regulator mentioned Wednesday that the blood clots needs to be listed as a uncommon aspect impact of the shot, however that the advantages of inoculation proceed to outweigh the dangers.
Australian officers justified the cutoff age of fifty for giving the vaccine by saying youthful individuals have been much less susceptible to struggling extreme problems from Covid-19.
But they pressured that older Australians ought to proceed to belief the AstraZeneca shots.
“I need to reiterate that we’re strongly encouraging these 50 and over to take up the AstraZeneca vaccine — it’s a extremely efficient vaccine at stopping extreme Covid,” mentioned Brendan Murphy, head of the federal government’s well being division.
He added that the hazard from blood clots related to the vaccine was “terribly low”.
There has to date been just one case of blood clotting in a affected person who acquired the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.
Morrison and Murphy mentioned they have been assured there could be sufficient doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Novavax vaccines to finish the inoculation of Australian adults.